Deanne Criswell, a FEMA administrator, rushed forward to promise that the relief efforts for Hurricane Ian would be handed out to “all communities” in an effort to walk back the insane statements from Vice President Kamala Harris late last week claiming that officials within the Biden administration would heavily prioritize issuing aid to minorities “based on equity.”
While making an appearance on the Sunday edition of “Face the Nation,” Criswell was pushed to respond directly to the various statements issued by Harris. Criswell made the claim that the vice president was attempting to speak about the longer term. However, she also made sure to reassure the American people that the federal government resources would be going out in an effort to support all people that have been affected by the natural disaster.
“[O]ur programs support everybody,” expressed Criswell to the show’s host, Margaret Brennan. “I would say I believe some of the things the vice president was talking about are the long-term recovery and rebuilding these communities to be able to withstand disasters, so they can have less impact. We’re going to support all communities. I committed that to (Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis), I commit to you right here that all Floridians are going to be able to get the help that is available to them through our programs.”
Harris ended up drawing quite a bit of negative attention this past Friday when she expressed to those in attendance at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum that administration officials would prioritize low-income and minority groups for hurricane relief.
“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” stated Harris. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.”
“And if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work,” she went on.
The Director of Rapid Response for DeSantis’ re-election campaign, Christina Pushaw, expressed some strong pushback against the comments from Harris, demanding further clarification from those within the Biden administration.
“This is false. @VP’s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified,” expressed Pushaw via a social media post. “FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.”
This is false. @VP's rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit https://t.co/x9X8AstnzL or call 1-800-621-3362. https://t.co/idsw1PX86x
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) September 30, 2022
“[T]he areas of SWFL hardest hit by the storm are mostly white but greatly varied in socioeconomic status,” she continued in a reply. “None of that matters; rescuers are helping everyone they possibly can and people are getting the assistance they need.”